The Obesity Innovation Summit is a key forum for collaboration between healthcare providers, payers, pharmaceutical companies, patient advocates and policy makers. Recognising obesity as a chronic disease, discussions will explore the complexities that influence this disease, including stigma and misinformation, health equity, nutrition and access to pharmacological, surgical, lifestyle and precision medicine.
Connect with esteemed thought leaders and like-minded professional in an environment that fosters action-focused discussions. Dynamic panel discussions, informative presentation sessions and collaborative networking sessions will facilitate the convergence of diverse perspectives to help develop comprehensive, multi-modal and sustainable strategies for obesity prevention, treatment, and long-term management.
Empower yourself with the latest evidence-based clinical insights, equipping you with actionable points to be a proactive advocate for obesity awareness and innovation within obesity healthcare. The Obesity Innovation 2024 Summit will act as a springboard for industry peers to not only stay at the forefront of innovation but also actively contribute to the global dialogue on obesity healthcare.
The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) looks forward to amplifying the
patient voice and collaborating with thought leaders, healthcare providers and other advocates at the 2024 Obesity Innovation Summit. The Summit is an important opportunity to unite in our shared goal of improving the way that people with obesity are treated both medically and as a society. OAC is hopeful that the Summit will be another positive step toward change.
”As a psychologist working with patients living with obesity, I am thrilled to be engaged in the cutting edge work to be discussed at the Obesity Innovation Summit. It is our duty as clinicians to stay on top of the latest science and to keep asking hard questions on behalf of our patients. And I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring a mental health component to this discussion about obesity- it has never been more important!”
“The recognition that obesity is a chronic disease is growing but there is still much work to be done to combat weight stigma and help patients access comprehensive and evidence-based obesity care. I look forward to the presentations and discussions at the Obesity Innovation Summit to drive these changes forward”
”Obesity is such a challenging, refractory, and progressive chronic disease, it will take more than one sector to reverse this public health crisis. I look forward to meeting, engaging, learning and collaborating with professionals across different disciplines at the 2024 Obesity Innovation Summit in Houston.”
Preview of the Speaker Faculty
Angela Fitch, MD, FACP, FOMA is a leader in the field of obesity medicine. She is the current president of the Obesity Medicine Association and the 2017 winner of their Clinician of the Year Award. She served as chair of the clinical management section of the Obesity Society in 2015–2016. She practiced primary care for 10 years before becoming a diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine in 2012. She joined knownwell by way of Boston, where she divides her time between academia, activism, and medicine. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard University, the former co-director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center, a board member of the Obesity Action Coalition, and a founding member of the Massachusetts Coalition for Action on Obesity. Dr. Fitch is board-certified in obesity medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics.
Joe Nadglowski is President & CEO of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) – a nonprofit organization formed in 2005 dedicated to elevating and empowering individuals affected by obesity through education, advocacy and support. A frequent speaker and author, Mr. Nadglowski is especially passionate about access to obesity treatments, tackling weight bias and sharing his own experiences with obesity. He has more than 25 years of experience working in patient advocacy, public policy and education and is a graduate of the University of Florida.
Dr. Sajani Shah received her medical degree at St. Georges University of Medicine. Upon graduation, she completed her general surgery residency at Downstate University in Brooklyn, New York and her advanced laparoscopic bariatric surgery fellowship at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. After finishing her fellowship she joined Tufts Medical Center as Assistant Professor of Surgery. Dr. Shah practices minimally invasive surgery, with a focus on bariatric procedures. She is a board-certified surgeon who performs laparoscopic gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding and revisions of previous bariatric operations. She also performs general surgery procedures such as laparoscopic cholecystectomies and has expertise in laparoscopic hernia repairs. In addition to her clinical role, she has served as the surgery clerkship director for the medical students and is the associate program director for the surgical residency.
As a member of the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons, the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, and the Society of Laparoscopic Surgeons, Dr. Shah regularly attends societal surgical symposiums, and strives to provide her patients with the highest quality of the current standards of practice. Dr Shah is also involved in local medical organizations such as Indian Medical Association of New England where she has been elected as President-elect. She volunteers her time at free clinics located throughout Massachusetts.
Dr. Shah has been published in several books including, Mastery of Surgery: Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery – Lap Cholecystectomy
Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgery: Neuromodulation. She has also published articles and studies in peer-reviewed journals that include American Journal of Surgery, Obesity Care News, Archives of Surgery, Journal of American College of Surgery, and the Bariatric Times. She has also been involved in clinical research serving as the principal investigator in trials such as VBLOC (vagal blocking therapy) an innovative device to help lose weight.
Dr. Justin Ryder is a clinical translational pediatric obesity researcher focused on understanding
the biology underlying treatment response for pediatric obesity. The goal of his NIH funded
research is to expediate the translation of treatment from adults to children for the disease of
obesity and improve short-term and long-term outcomes for youth with obesity. His highly
collaborative works span the continuum of treatment with studies focused on lifestyle
modification, medications, and surgery. He currently serves as the Vice Chair of Research for
the Department of Surgery at Lurie Children’s Hospital and is an Associate Professor of Surgery
and Pediatrics at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.
Dr. Grunvald is board certified in internal medicine and obesity medicine. He is the medical director of the Center for Advanced Weight Management, within the UCSD (University of California San Diego) Bariatric and Metabolic Institute. Dr. Grunvald and his associates manage patients with combinations of lifestyle interventions, anti-obesity pharmacotherapy, and metabolic bariatric surgery.
As a clinical professor, Dr. Grunvald is very involved in teaching at the medical school on topics such as metabolism, weight regulation, and treatment of obesity and weight related medical conditions. He has served on a national committee developing competencies for obesity education in medical schools and has authored guidelines on the use of medications for weight management. His research interests include obesity medicine education, bariatric surgery outcomes, weight-related complications and anti-obesity drug development. He has served as principal investigator for clinical trials on anti-obesity drug development.
Dr. Grunvald completed his residency training at UC San Diego School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree at University of Washington School of Medicine.
Dr. Solis-Herrera is a Physician-Scientist and Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, at the University of Texas Health at San Antonio (UTHSA). She is also an active collaborator of the Division of Diabetes. Additionally, she serves as the Medical Director at the Diabetes Clinic in the Medical Arts and Research Center (MARC).
After completing her training in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology in Mexico, where she continues to be board certified, Dr. Solis completed a 4-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Diabetes and Metabolism Research at UTHSA under the mentorship of Dr. Ralph DeFronzo. During this time, she acquired highly advanced skills in multiple research techniques, including assessment of beta-cell function with different insulin clamp techniques, insulin sensitivity, measurement of endogenous glucose production, indirect calorimetry, PET/radioactive tracers, MRI/MRS and assessment of myocardial fuel metabolism among others.
Later, she re-trained in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at UTHSA and is board certified on both. During this time, she continued to pursue her passion in Translational and Clinical Research in Diabetes and Metabolism, where she has secured significant Grant Funding. Dr Solis-Herrera is also a Voelcker Scholar and is well published in highly-esteemed peer-reviewed journals.
Her areas of interest include Pathogenesis of Diabetes, Mechanisms of Action of novel anti-diabetic drugs and Cardiometabolic Endocrinology. Dr. Solis-Herrera is passionate about education and service and has a Diabetes Teaching Clinic at the MARC. She supervises Clinical and Research Fellows, Residents and Graduate Students.
She is actively involved with multiple local, national and international associations and is an active member of AACE, ADA and EASD. She also serves as Associate Editor of Diabetes Spectrum and is a member of the JDRF National Grant Review Committee.
Dr. Simonetti received her medical degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine in 2009. She completed her residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a fellowship in clinical nutrition and obesity at Boston University Medical Center. After practicing internal medicine and running a weight management department in Boston she has returned to the University of Utah as faculty in the Division of Endocrinology.
She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Obesity Medicine.
Dr. Simonetti’s clinical interests include weight management, different care models of chronic disease management, as well as caring for patients in the pre and post-op phase of bariatric surgery and patients with weight-loss device implantations.
She will direct the Bariatric Medicine Program and co-direct the Comprehensive Weight Management Center at the University of Utah. Dr. Simonetti will work alongside bariatric surgeons to create a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to care for patients with obesity.
Dr. Robyn Pashby, Ph.D. is a clinical health psychologist who specializes in the psychological aspects of obesity and health. She is the owner and director of DC Health Psychology, a group health psychology practice located in Washington DC and she serves on the National Board of Directors of the Obesity Action Coalition.
Dr. Pashby earned her PhD in both Medical and Clinical Psychology from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), F. Edward Hebert Medical School. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Washington DC Veterans Hospital and her post-doctoral Fellowship in the Eating Behavior Lab at USUHS. She is experienced in the use of evidence-based interventions for eating and weight concerns including Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Her clinical specialization is in the psychological treatment of obesity, binge eating disorder, internalized weight bias, pre- and post-bariatric surgery concerns, and anti-obesity medication use; and she has presented research and clinical trainings nationally and internationally on these topics.
Dr. Nisha Patel is a highly skilled and accomplished physician with certifications in internal, obesity and culinary medicine, along with menopause and clinical lipidology. Dr. Patel attended medical school at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and completed Internal Medicine residency at the University of California in San Diego. She currently serves as the Director of a novel obesity medicine program in San Francisco caring for medically complex pre and post organ transplant patients.
Dr. Patel combines her expertise in medicine and nutrition with her passion for culinary literacy to empower her patients with the tools to make sustainable, lifelong healthy eating habits. She is also a co-founder of Meet Ayla, a supportive community to help women across their lifespan (from pre-pregnancy to menopause) improve their cardiometabolic health. Dr. Patel is a frequent speaker and presenter, sharing her knowledge and expertise with physician colleagues, medical trainees, and the general public. She also maintains an active social media presence on Instagram and Twitter (@DrPlantel), where she continues to inspire and educate the general public on evidence-based obesity medicine and nutrition.
Healthcare investor/innovator with deep industry experience in the payor, provider and start-up worlds. Focus on the intersection of innovation, strategy and policy to identify opportunities to change and improve healthcare.
HC9 is an early-stage venture capital firm purpose-built to provide industry-specific expertise to emerging healthcare software and services companies. HC9’s unparalleled, deeply engaged investor community of leading executives, entrepreneurs and investors collectively has thousands of years of experience in all facets of healthcare. We leverage the power of that experience to support the founders that are shaping the future of healthcare.
John B. Cleek, MD, is the medical director of obesity medicine at Roper St. Francis Physician Partners Obesity Medicine in Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Cleek earned his medical degree at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia. He completed his internal medicine residency at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, followed by a hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Cleek is board certified in internal medicine and obesity medicine and is a board-certified physician nutrition specialist.
Previously, Dr. Cleek was an associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the division of nutrition sciences. Before this he served as the medical director for the Vanderbilt Center for Medical Weight Loss in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Carolinas Weight Management & Wellness Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Cleek is a member of the American Board of Bariatric Medicine, for which he served as the chair from 2011 to 2014; the American Board of Obesity Medicine, for which he served as the chair from 2018 to 2021; the Obesity Medicine Association; and The Obesity Society. His research has been published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Endocrine Practice, and Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.
Angie Kalousek Ebrahimi oversees the operations and growth of a suite of clinically proven lifestyle medicine programs for Blue Shield of California’s members. Kalousek-Ebrahimi and her team work to drive seamless operations, as well as enrollment and engagement in the lifestyle medicine interventions under the Wellvolution brand. She strongly believes that lifestyle medicine can transform the current health care model by introducing clinically effective, cost effective, and non-invasive lifestyle approaches into the care continuum. She, herself, has incorporated lifestyle medicine into her own life to prevent disease and live in optimal health. Kalousek-Ebrahimi is strategically working to promote Blue Shield of California’s philosophy that lifestyle is medicine.
Prior to joining Blue Shield in 2010, Kalousek-Ebrahimi worked as the Wellness Program Manager at Visa, Inc. where she created and implemented a new suite of global wellness programs for Visa employees. Part of her role at Visa was to incorporate Visa wellness programming with health plan offerings so that employees had a seamless experience. Prior to her time at Visa, Kalousek-Ebrahimi served as the Fitness Director at the Sports Club LA in San Francisco where she oversaw a staff of 60 trainers, nutritionists, and sports coordinators. In her role there, she also managed new-member fitness programs, trainer education, and direct private training sales. She has also worked in marketing, business planning, and accounting.
Kalousek-Ebrahimi holds an M.B.A. degree from Golden Gate University, a B.S. degree in Business from the University of California, Haas School of Business, Berkeley, and is a Certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach.
Dr. Inwood is in practice at Southcoast Health Weight Management Center in Fall River and Wareham, where she specializes in Obesity Medicine. She is on the medical staff of Charlton Memorial Hospital. A 2004 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Dr. Inwood completed her residency at the Self Regional Healthcare/Montgomery Center for Family Medicine in Greenwood, S.C in 2007. Her special interests include non-surgical weight management, including prescription medications, personalized nutrition and exercise plans, behavior modification, and reversal and prevention of weight-related diseases. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Massachusetts Medical Society. She is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Obesity Medicine.
Dr. Abby is certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine and a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. She has established her presence as a weight loss specialist in Pinellas county since 2007. She now brings her expertise to Hillsborough county in an effort to decrease the burden of obesity in the Greater Tampa bay area.
Kelley Hagerich, MD, MPH, FACP, DipABOM, DipACLM is the national lead physician champion for the Veterans Healthcare System weight management program called the MOVE! Program, and she also serves as the medical director of the newly developed regional bariatric surgery program based at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System. This program provides medical weight management services and bariatric surgery to Northern and Central California, Reno, and Las Vegas, Nevada. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Lifestyle Medicine, and Obesity Medicine. Before transferring to the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System in January 2022, she spent nine years at the VA San Diego Healthcare System, where she worked as a primary care provider and served as the medical director of the weight management clinic. She was also an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, where she taught UCSD medical students and served as a preceptor for the UCSD Internal Medicine residency program. Dr . Hagerich will pursue academic affiliation with Stanford University School of Medicine. She currently hosts third and fourth-year medical students from Stanford in her obesity medicine clinic at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System.
Michelle Hauser, MD, MS, MPA, FACP, FACLM, DipABLM, Chef is Obesity Medicine Director of the Medical Weight Loss Program in the Stanford Lifestyle and Weight Management Center. She is a board-certified specialist in internal medicine and lifestyle medicine. She also holds the position of Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, General Surgery, and by courtesy, Primary Care and Population Health. Dr. Hauser developed the Medgroup lifestyle and medical weight management program at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) which now serves patients across the U.S. both in and outside the VA system. She is currently course director for SURG244: Teaching Kitchen Elective for MD & PA Students at Stanford—the course upon which her ACLM co-published Culinary Medicine Curriculum is based. This curriculum has been used in over 100 countries for health professional education and patient care.
Beyond delivering patient care and medical education, Dr. Hauser is a prevention researcher and Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef. She combines her skills to help patients move away from lifestyles that lead to chronic disease and toward those that promote health and well-being. She currently serves as Co-I and study physician for the Vida Sana y Completa study to evaluate co-treatment of food insecurity and obesity among Spanish-speaking Latina women. Prior studies have examined diet quality, weight management, culinary medicine, utilizing technology for physical activity and nutrition interventions, and evaluation of weight management programs.
Dr. Hauser is an invited fellow of the American College of Physicians and a fellow and past director for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. She completed her medical degree, residency, the Zuckerman Fellows Program in Leadership & Public Service and a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree at Harvard. She also completed a Master of Science in Epidemiology and Clinical Research degree and the Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Stanford.
Adam Kaufman is an accomplished executive, entrepreneur, and board member providing pioneering leadership in digital health, medical services, and healthy living. For more than two decades he has been a pioneer of digital health and its accompanying transformation of the healthcare industry. He is known for driving organizational improvements through technical advancements as well as defining strategic vision to penetrate new markets, expand product lines, and grow revenue.
Adam currently serves as a consultant to startups, Fortune 100 companies and leading health systems, including Mayo Clinic.
He is a Senior Advisor at Eversana Consulting and a EIR at JSL Capital. He is also Publisher & Editor at BearingOn.Health. As SVP
of Healthcare, Adam reorganized Weight Watchers B2B healthcare division while leading the launch of the first dedicated
broad WW consumer solution for people with diabetes. He defined a successful go-to-market plan while positioning the
product line for significant growth within this new vertical. Adam has been a startup founder and was CEO at Canary Health
leading the company through several rounds of financing and growth to a $10M in annual recurring revenue run rate.
Adam has particularly deep expertise in VC and PE backed healthcare companies supporting their digital transformation and
entrance into new markets often after growth has stalled or declined in initial strategies. He has worked to redefine value
propositions, adjust go-to-market strategies and build and lead marketing and sales teams.
Leveraging a Ph.D. in Applied Microeconomics (with a focus in healthcare) from the University of Southern California, Adam
also worked as an Adjunct at USC, teaching healthcare Industrial Organization and Applied Statistics. He served as a Fulbright
Scholar at the Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico and completed a dual Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Systems
Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.
Disha Narang, M.D. is an endocrinologist, obesity and culinary medicine specialist. She is the Director of Obesity Medicine at NorthShore University Health System in Chicago.
Dr. Narang is extremely passionate about combatting our epidemic of obesity through targeting our food environment and using current therapeutic measures to sustain long-term weight maintenance. Dr. Narang is focused on helping her patients and the community understand how and what to eat in order to improve their overall health and chronic diseases. She has partnered with chefs and dietitians for years to bring lecture series and cooking demonstrations to her patients, community, and beyond. Dr. Narang especially loves working with women at all stages of their lives, in addition to families navigating obesity and chronic metabolic disease.
Dr. Narang has been featured in several national and global media outlets, including the BBC, CNN, and NPR, speaking on the obesity epidemic, diabetes, chronic medical weight management, and our food environment.
Dr. Katherine H. Saunders is a physician entrepreneur and an internationally recognized expert in
Obesity Medicine. She is on the cutting edge of effective and compassionate obesity treatment. Dr.
Saunders co-founded Intellihealth, a software and clinical services company scaling and democratizing
access to comprehensive medical obesity treatment. She practices at Intellihealth’s clinical services
affiliate, Flyte Medical, and she is on faculty at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Dr. Saunders received her undergraduate degree Phi Beta Kappa/Summa Cum Laude from Dartmouth
College and her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College, where she became a member of the
Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She completed her internship and residency training in
Internal Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine, where she served as
ambulatory chief resident. Dr. Saunders was the first clinical fellow in Obesity Medicine at the
Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Dr. Saunders is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of
Obesity Medicine. She hosts the Weight Matters podcast with Dr. Louis Aronne, she regularly speaks at
international conferences, and she publishes extensively on Obesity Medicine and weight management.
Dr. Saunders has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and she has been
featured in multiple national media outlets, including Forbes, Politico, The Atlantic, Associated Press,
Women’s Health, USA Today, Healio, Healthline, and HCP Live. Dr. Saunders also makes frequent guest
appearances on a variety of podcasts, radio shows and TV shows including ABC’s Good Morning
Dr. Saunders’ recent awards and recognition include the Women at Weill Investment Competition,
Brown Brothers Harriman 22 Women to Watch in 2022, Medika Life Top 30 Influencers Transforming
Wellness in 2023, the Health Innovators’ Top Health Innovators to Watch in 2023 and New York Super
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Join your peers for live presentations, engaging discussions and face-to-face networking. Catch up with familiar faces and make new connections within the field.
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The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is dedicated to elevating and
empowering individuals affected by obesity through education,
advocacy and support. OAC raises awareness and improves access to
prevention and treatment of obesity, provides science-based education,
fights to eliminate weight bias and offers a community of support to